Gum Disease & Other Diseases

Dis you know…

Gum disease and oral health may be related to other conditions, as well, such as:

Osteoporosis: Some research suggests that lower bone density leads to bone loss in the jaw. This may eventually lead to tooth loss due to a weaker underlying bone.
Respiratory disease: Bacteria in the mouth can move to the lungs and cause infections such as pneumonia. This is more common for people with periodontal disease.
Cancer: Some researchTrusted Source suggests that gum disease may increase the risk of certain forms of cancer, such as kidney, pancreatic, and blood cancers. More research is needed in this area.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): Early researchTrusted Source shows an association between RA and gum disease. However, more research is needed.
There are also some conditions that may increase your risk of developing gum disease. Research indicates that people with diabetes are at increased risk of developing gum disease. This is likely due to increased inflammation and greater risk of infections in general. The risk lowers if you manage your diabetes.

Pregnant women are also at increased risk of gum disease due to hormonal changes and increased blood flow.

Gum disease symptoms
Regular visits to your dentist can help with early diagnosis and treatment of gum disease. You should also let your dentist know if you have any symptoms of gum disease, including:

persistent bad breath
swollen, red gums
tender gums that bleed easily
pain with chewing
highly sensitive teeth
receding gums or sunken teeth
loose teeth or changes in bite
Just because you have one or several of these symptoms doesn’t mean you have gum disease. A dentist will make a formal diagnosis by reviewing the severity and duration of your symptoms. They will also evaluate your teeth and review your medical history. During your visit, they may:

measure your gums with a tiny ruler to check pocket depth
evaluate your gums for signs of inflammation and plaque buildup
take X-rays of underlying jaw bone to look for bone loss
examine sensitive teeth for receding gums
Heart disease symptoms
If your doctor suspects heart disease, they will make a diagnosis based on your medical history, the severity and duration of your symptoms, and the results of a physical examination. The following are common symptoms of heart disease:

chest pain, also known as angina, resulting from your heart not getting enough oxygen
arrhythmia, also known as irregular heart beat
shortness of breath
unexpected fatigue
dizziness and lightheadedness
sudden confusion or impaired thinking
excess buildup of fluid, known as edema
heart attack
The doctor will also evaluate your blood and examine risk factors for heart disease, such as family history and body weight. They can confirm a diagnosis with the following tests:

EKG to record the heart’s electrical activity
chest X-ray to visualize the heart and other organs in the chest
blood tests to evaluate levels of proteins, lipids, and glucose
stress test to document abnormal changes in your heart beat and breathing during exercise
What’s the outlook?
Research shows some connection between gum disease and heart disease. Bacteria buildup and inflammation in the oral cavity eventually leads to narrowing and blockage of blood vessels. However, more research is needed to better understand the connection.

There are many healthy lifestyle habits you can use to maintain good oral hygiene and reduce your risk of gum and heart diseases.

QUIT SMOKING AND REDUCE SUGAR INTAKE (LaserQuit can achieve this easily)
Brush your teeth and tongue at least twice per day with a fluoride toothpaste. Ask your dentist to demonstrate the correct technique for brushing.
Floss between your teeth and gums at least once per day.
Use mouthwash regularly.
Only use teeth cleaning products that have the American Dentist Association’s seal of approval.
Refrain from smoking or chewing tobacco.
Drink water that contains fluoride.
Eat a diet high in vegetables, high-fiber foods, low-sugar fruits, and vegetable-based proteins.
Maintain healthy levels of blood sugar, especially if you have diabetes.
See a dentist twice per year for regular cleanings and checkups.
Be mindful of early signs of gum disease, such as bleeding gums and constant bad breath. Let your dentist know if you have any of these symptoms.

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